Saturday, October 23, 2010

Week 8: Saturday Matchups

[ Note: Eddie is busy this morning and will try and add his comments later. ]

Last week's Game of the Week lived up to its billing, turning into a 108-point shootout that dropped Arkansas out of the SEC title race, and gave Auburn an over-inflated sense of self. The ECU/NCSU game also turned into a close one, but the Pirates actually managed the upset over the Wolfpack. This week we see some more SEC at the top, ACC in the middle, and high-paced action in the basement.

Game of the Week
LSU Tigers at Auburn Tigers.
GUGS Score: 71.3

Justin: The BCS rankings would have you believe this is a top-10 showdown. TFG knows that the teams aren't quite that good, but it should still make for an excellent game. Both teams have nearly identical offenses, but LSU has a 3.7 PPH advantage on defense. LSU also tends to play a much more deliberate game, averaging less than 160 plays per game (PPG); Auburn, on the other hand, averages a shade over 170. This might not seem like a lot, but when a team averages nearly 25 PPH on offense, those 10 plays could be enough time for a game-winning field goal. In the lone game this week where RBA and TFG disagree, TFG says LSU eeks by Auburn, 33-32, but only with 52.4% certainty.

BCS Game of the Week
North Carolina Tar Heels at Miami Hurricanes.
GUGS Score: 61.3

Justin: Another week, another ACC game. The (19) Tar Heels would be favored over the (21) Hurricanes on a neutral field, but since this is being played in Coral Gables the Hurricanes will get a bit of a boost. UNC has a slight advantage on offense (0.9 PPH) but a slight disadvantage on defense (0.4 PPH). Similar to the SEC Tiger showdown, we're pitting a deliberate team (UNC) against a faster team (Miami), but in this case the advantage goes to the faster-paced home team. Miami 31, UNC 28.

BCS Upset Watch of the Week
Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
GUGS Score: 58.1

Justin: Technically Notre Dame isn't in a BCS conference, but they managed to get a special exemption to all sorts of BCS eligibility rules so we count them as a BCS team. Why the 34th-ranked team deserves that kind of special treatment, I don't know, but I do know this Fighting Irish team should be able to handle (48) Navy. Both teams have an offense that racks up about 19 PPH, but the Fighting Irish have a 3.1 PPH advantage on the defensive side. A better defense plus home field advantage equals a Notre Dame win, 31-29.

Kids Table Game of the Week
Houston Cougars at Southern Methodist Mustangs.
GUGS Score: 48.8

Justin: The fast-paced (69) Cougars visit the deliberate (70) Mustangs that will showcase as much defense as an All-Star game. Both teams have defenses with efficiencies at 20+ PPH, but offenses not quite that efficient. In other words the defenses will be rolling out the red carpet to make it easier for these teams to score. And even with the Mustangs slowing down the pace a bit, this will be a high-scoring affair. TFG says SMU holds the Cougars off and prevails in a 38-35 barnburner.

Games you probably wanted us to preview:

Oklahoma Sooners at Missouri Tigers.
GUGS Score: 58.3

Not quite as competitive as some other games. This will still be a close one for Oklahoma, as the Sooners only have a 63% chance of winning, but they should be able to pull it off.

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Oklahoma State Cowboys.
GUGS Score: 54.2

Another game that should be good, just not quite as competitive as UNC at Miami.